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What would it take for gamers on the Xbox One to go toe-to-toe with gamers on the PlayStation 4? In some cases, the answer is "not that much, actually." It's a conversation that's been going on for years now and, following the launch of Rocket League across multiple platforms, talks have been rekindled as of late. So, what's the latest on full cross-platform play?
The folks over at MCVUK recently sat down for a talk with Aaron Greenberg, the head of Xbox Games Marketing. In the chat, Greenburg touched on such things as FIFA, a sudden surge in sales for the Xbox One in Europe, as well as Windows 10 and the new Xbox One S. Also of note, though, was a brief discussion on the idea of cross-platform play between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
According to Greenberg, the ball is still in Sony's court, and Team Xbox remains onboard.
In terms of connecting with gamers on the PlayStation Network, we fully support them to do that. And I believe they're talking to Sony about it, but I don't know the latest.
In the above comment, Greenburg was specifically referencing Psyonix and their breakout hit semi-sports game, Rocket League. That particular game allows for cross-platform play between the PlayStation 4 and PC or the Xbox One and PC, but not the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.
Talk about that very possibility got kicking around last year, when the developers stated that allowing players on the two home consoles to join in car-fueled soccer matches would be no problem on their front. All they really needed was the blessing of all parties involved.
In a surprise move, Team Xbox basically said, "Yeah, let's get this party started." Sony, on the other hand, has kept a zipped lip on the matter. That's kind of surprising, considering the fact that Sony has such a commanding lead in this console generation. Allowing cross-platform play, even across only select titles, would seem like a solid move on their part that would only boost their popularity. Then again, I'm no business expert and Sony might have very good reasons for not wanting to open that particular can of worms.
If nothing else, it's nice to hear from Greenberg that Microsoft is still game for possible cross-platform play. If Psyonix can really make it happen without breaking a sweat, it might serve as a nice experiment to see if such camaraderie is possible for other titles, too. Also, we're mostly talking about one game here. Sony wouldn't have to sign on for any other cross-play titles just because they allowed it for Rocket League, so, whatever their reservations, maybe this would be a good way to see if they hold water.
On the Xbox front, though, Greenburg says that he puts that kind of functionality in the hands of the developers. If folks want to try for cross-platform play, as is the case with Psyonix, he says they're all for it.